I had not planned on any introduction, but as I came towards the end I felt a short introduction might serve as a cock-crowing to some of God’s people.
As I read and reread the seven letters to the seven churches, I cannot help but know that here in the free world at least, our Lord is calling His Church to repentance—and for the same reasons He called five of the seven churches of Asia to repentance. He even threatened He would remove the Lampstand from one church that had so much going for them. . .for a reason we would hardly consider to be valid. After all they were doing good works, laboring in the work of the Lord, were patient in trial, could not tolerate those who were evil, had keen understanding to try those who claimed to have apostolic ministry, and proved them to be false, carried faithfully the burdens that God put upon them, without fainting and dropping out of the race. . .Surely a church of this calibre would receive top marks from the Lord. But this is the church, to whom the Lord said He would remove their Lampstand, if they did not repent. What was their problem? They had forsaken FIRST LOVE. What will it take to cause us to know how greatly we have fallen, and to come back to the simplicity and purity of our Love for God, and for His people? I do not have the answer, but I know the Lord of the Church is the Answer, and that He walks among the Lampstands fully qualified and prepared to deal with every problem in the Church.
A few days ago I was thinking of Peter. He loved his Master, but when everything went to pieces he was suddenly frustrated, disillusioned, angry, offended—and ready to throw it all up. He even went so far as to openly deny his Master three times in a row. Then something happened that Jesus had predicted. Suddenly the cock crowed, and Jesus turned and looked at Peter, and caught his eye. That one timely look at Peter, brought him to sudden, devastating repentance. . .and he went outside and wept bitterly. It was the beginning of the restoration of his faith and hope in the One who said: “Peter, I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not”.
I know this is our total answer. And my hope is that this writing may be a timely cock-crowing to many who are troubled and perplexed, perhaps even disillusioned and offended with God’s people, or with their Lord. Or, just plain Laodicean—neither cold, nor hot—and not realizing our Lord requires one or the other, and cannot tolerate the mixture. Whatever our problem may be, I trust we too may be caught by the eye of Jesus as He turns, and looks at us. For I know those eyes of the bleeding Lamb will bring us to irreversible repentance, where there is no turning back, no looking back.
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro Throughout the whole earth, To show Himself strong in the behalf of them Whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chron. 16:9)
— George H. Warnock—April 17, 2001—